Life cycle assessment: A time-series analysis of copper

Memary, R, Giurco, D, Mudd, G and Mason, L 2012, 'Life cycle assessment: A time-series analysis of copper', Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 33, pp. 97-108.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Life cycle assessment: A time-series analysis of copper
Author(s) Memary, R
Giurco, D
Mudd, G
Mason, L
Year 2012
Journal name Journal of Cleaner Production
Volume number 33
Start page 97
End page 108
Total pages 12
Publisher Elsevier
Abstract This paper presents a time-series Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach to examine the historical environmental impacts associated with copper mining and smelting in Australia from 1940 to 2008. It uses cradle-to-gate LCA models to estimate impacts from the five largest Australian copper mines, incorporating changes in ore grade and differences in technologies and regional energy sources. Using copper as an example of the different life-cycle impacts of metals, this study demonstrates the influence of both temporal and spatial factors. For mine/smelters, results show that the carbon footprint of copper produced at all sites over the time period investigated ranges from 2.5 to 8.5 kg CO 2-eq./kg Cu and the difference between different locations in any given year can be up to 6 kg CO 2-eq./kg Cu. The estimated impact potentials derived from the LCA models for Australia's largest mine/smelter at Olympic Dam are then compared to impacts reported by mine operators for global warming potential and acidification. The results of the LCA analysis indicate the importance of considering time-varying parameters and highlight an opportunity to use LCA models more broadly for assessing future technology and energy options in the mineral sector.
Subject Environmental Engineering not elsewhere classified
Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Australia
Environmental impacts
Life Cycle Assessment
Mining
Smelting
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.04.025
Copyright notice © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0959-6526
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